Updated Dashboard from Results for America and Mathematica Assesses 8,300 Projects, Highlighting Notable Models for Government Leaders
WASHINGTON, DC – Results for America and Mathematica released an updated ARP Data and Evidence Dashboard that looks at how state and local government leaders are investing their American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds and using data and evidence to get better results.
The dashboard – based on an analysis of 200 Recovery Plan Performance Reports from 50 states, 83 counties and 67 cities across the country* – provides a snapshot of funding priorities, as well as how state and local policymakers are implementing five U.S. Treasury data and evidence practices that serve as criteria for how governments should invest ARP dollars to maximize the impact of their investments.
“The federal government provided state and local government leaders with the guidance and incentive to use American Rescue Plan dollars to build data and evidence capacity, and invest in evidence-based solutions – and we are thrilled to see policymakers acting on that,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America. “Given the amount of federal relief funding still to be allocated, the examples in this dashboard can be used as a roadmap for other state and local governments to get better results.”
“The American Rescue Plan was a historic investment in state and local public health and economic recovery programs,” said Paul Decker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mathematica. “With this dashboard, we’re providing state and local lawmakers with real examples of successful evidence-driven projects that they can replicate across the country to improve public well-being. We’re also making it easier for people to see how their lawmakers are investing ARP funding in their communities. Mathematica is pleased to partner with Results for America on this important effort.”
The American Rescue Plan provided $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to states, territories, cities, counties and tribal governments to make critical investments in people and infrastructure. The dashboard includes an analysis of over 8,300 projects from 200 reports submitted to the U.S. Treasury, including 110** notable projects that can serve as models for other government leaders. These include:
- 24 Evidence-based solutions (totalling $302 million) that can serve as models for other government leaders;
- 44 examples (totalling $338 million) of state and local governments building evaluations into their investments; and
- 44 examples (totallying $574 million) of state and local governments developing their in-house data and evidence capacity.
Innovative Approaches from State and Local Governments
The information and notable examples cited in the dashboard can help policymakers better plan their next ARP investments by learning from innovative practices in communities across the country. Here are just a few:
- Using Evidence-based Solutions in Minnesota: Minnesota is a national leader in identifying, using and creating rigorous evidence of effectiveness of social programs. In 2015, Minnesota developed a definition of “evidence-based practices” and began to evaluate whether there was an evidence-basis for select programs operated by the state. This approach was central to how Minnesota invested its SLFRF dollars. State agencies are encouraged to use the Request for Proposal (RFP) process to promote the use of evidence-based interventions and conduct rigorous impact evaluations.
- Using Evidence-based Solutions in Lee County, FL: Lee County is investing in Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), a program that matches mentors with children for positive impact. Rigorous evaluations show improved academic achievement from this model, which addresses educational disparities by providing advocacy, guidance, support and resources to overcome barriers and achieve academic and life success.
- Using Evidence-based Solutions in Dallas, TX: Dallas invested ARP funds in Family Connects, an evidence-based home visiting model available to all families with newborns residing within a defined service area. Families with newborns have the opportunity to participate in up to three home visits with a nurse to help with the transition, identify any additional needs, and connect with a range of community support and resources.
- Investing in Evaluation in Baltimore, MD: The Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs will partner with the University of Baltimore and Morgan State University to support program evaluation, research and evidence-based decision-making about programs and services created or expanded using ARP funds. The University partners will provide the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs with implementation advice and impact evaluation, best practices research, administrative data analysis, and performance management.
- Building Data & Evidence Capacity in Chicago, IL: The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is building internal data and evidence capacity by hiring staff to support enhanced data collection. This will enable deeper analysis, which will allow CDPH to understand the distribution of pollutants and relative vulnerability of different Chicago neighborhoods. Using these funds, and in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office for Sustainability, CDPH will also conduct a cumulative impact assessment (CIA) to assess the cumulative impact.
Recovery Reports from 35 cities which have achieved Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Certification, a program led by Results for America, demonstrated higher investments in key data and evidence provisions compared to the other 32 cities reviewed. They scored particularly well in the Enhancing Data and Evidence and Community Engagement practice areas. Nine Certified cities accounted for 25 notable projects.
Based on findings from the dashboard, Results for America is offering training and resources to help policymakers increase their use of data, evidence and evaluation to maximize the impact of their investments. Register to receive more info here.
* Analysis reflects review of July 2022 Recovery Plan Performance Reports from state and local governments to the U.S. Treasury; investment trends updates were made in January 2023 from Project and Expenditure Reports.
** This includes two programs that fall into two categories of investments.